Tax inspectorate missed $8.3 million in taxes over last three years: Exotic dancers cost treasury a fortunePOSTED: 02/4/14 12:38 PM
St. Maarten – Over the past three years the treasury has missed almost $8.3 million in taxes and social premiums that nave not been paid by so-called exotic dancers – a government euphemism for prostitutes.
Exotic dancers get a permit to work during six months on the island. At the end of that term they have to leave. Conservative industry estimates assume that the girls leave the island with approximately $30,000 in earnings at the end of their stay; however, they never file a tax return.
According to records from the Ministry of Labor, 495 permits for exotic dancers were issued in 2011. A year later, these numbers were down by 23.8 percent to 377. Last year only 323 permits were issued according to the ministry.
On the estimated $30,000 earnings, an exotic dancer would have to pay $3,301 in wage tax, $1,932 in AOV, $446 AVBZ and $1,260 in SCB premiums. That brings the total in taxes and premiums per permit to $6,939.
Based on this calculation the tax inspectorate missed $3,434,805 in taxes and premiums in 2011, $2,616,003 in 2012 and $2,241,297 last year. Total: $8,292,105.
The real damage to the treasury could even be higher, depending on real earnings and depending on the number of exotic dancers that are working on the island without a permit.